MASERU — Limkokwing University of Creative Technology (Luct)’s corporate secretary, Tefo Macheli, has been accused of being “economical with the truth”.
Macheli told the Lesotho Times on Wednesday that lecturers who are in a labour dispute with the university were “telling lies” when they said Luct lost a case against them.
Macheli also made the same allegations against the Congress of Lesotho Trade Unions (Coletu) which represents the lecturers.
“It is a blatant lie that we lost a case against them,” Macheli said.
But one of the former lecturers, Nkaku Kabi, said he was left fuming when he read Macheli’s comments.
He produced a copy of a case he won against Luct at the Directorate of Dispute Prevention and Resolution (DDPR).
The document, which is an arbitration award, showed that Kabi and two other former lecturers ’Malisema Makoa and Mamaswati Sopeng won the case against the university.
The DDPR on October 24 last year ordered Luct to pay the lecturers, who were challenging their dismissal, compensation “within 30 days of receipt of this award”.
The lecturers’ lawyer was Tumisang Mosotho while Macheli represented the university.
The DDPR ordered Luct to pay Makoa M388 962, Kabi M331 200 and Sopeng M319 488.
“When the university was supposed to pay us these amounts it tried to persuade us to settle for half and we refused,” Kabi said.
“When we declined their offer they approached Education Minister (’Makabelo Mosothoane) and she danced to their tune”.
“We did not agree with the minister and she told us that she would not get involved in this matter again.”
“We are not lying. Macheli is the one lying when he says the university never lost a case against us.”
Last night, Macheli said he was not lying because “we have appealed against the DDPR award and we are waiting for a review from the Labour Court”.
“I maintain that it is a lie that we lost the case.
“I was the one appearing for the university in that case and I say we are still waiting for the Labour Court’s review of the DDPR decision,” Macheli said.
“Otherwise how could we negotiate a settlement when we have appealed against the DDPR decision,” he said.
The lecturers approached the DDPR in February last year after the university did not renew their employment contracts.
They told the arbitrator that they had a legitimate expectation that their contracts would be renewed because of a clause that said they could be renewed based on their performance.
They said they performed well, which resulted in their legitimate expectation.
The university however argued that it had discretion to accept their applications or reject them.
Luct said the lecturers filled forms for re-employment not renewal of contracts.
The DDPR found that the lecturers’ expectation for renewal of their contracts was legitimate because during the course of their duties the university had never showed dissatisfaction of their performance.
“In a case where an expectation is terminated there must be a proper and valid reason why an employee should not expect renewal,” reads part of the DDPR’s ruling.
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